Hey please R&R thanks. I own no one except for Jamie, and this takes place during Claudia's senior year. A/N: Bailey and Sarah are together and living together, Julia lives at home along with Charlie (he's with Kirsten), Owen and Claudia, and Jamie is Claudia's best friend, and close to the family. That's about it.


"Hey Jamie, I didn't know you were coming by today." Charlie opens the door for Jamie. "Lose your key or something?" He jokes

"Funny, is Claudia home?"

"Upstairs" Charlie replies shutting the door behind her.

"Claud?" Jamie knocks on Claudia's door

"Jamie" Claudia greets her friend "Where have you been all day?"

"I came in late" Jamie replies tucking a stray strand of brown hair behind her ear and sitting on her bed. "Really late"

"Are you all right?" Claudia asks worried

"Same ol' same ol'. Don't worry though." Jamie smiles "So what happened in school today? Anything exciting?"

"Not really, it'll be over soon enough though."

"Especially if we graduate early."

"So… .how come you came in late?" Claudia asks carefully

"Why do you think?" Jamie asks looking through a magazine her blue eyes look up to meet Claudia's "Whatever you're thinking, you're probably right."

"So your dad was home last night?"

"Yep"

"No word from your mom yet?" Claudia asks

"Nope."

"Was John home?"

"Uh--- for a little while" Jamie replies not looking up.

"Why don't you just move in here for the rest of the year?" Claudia tries

"No Claudia, you know I can't" Jamie finally looks up "I appreciate your offer, but there's nothing that you can do."

"I can't just sit back and watch."

"So close your eyes" Jamie jokes "Claud, lighten up."

"I should have said something a long time ago." Claudia stands up

"You watch too much t.v. you're getting all hyped up over nothing."

"Why aren't you upset?"

"Claud, we go through this over and over you know why. I'm used to it." Jamie sighs laying back onto Claudia's pillows "It's been….. I don't know forever, it's nothing unusual. It's like your parents being gone kind of, it just becomes reality." Jamie offers as an explanation.

"If that's supposed to make me feel better, it sucked" Claudia answers leaning back against her wall. "We're supposed to be growing up, becoming adults. But neither of us are acting like one."

"Growing up is overrated." Jamie says looking up at the ceiling.

"Charlie will help you, or Bailey and Sarah. Sarah and Bailey have practically adopted you, you're always there or here." Claudia gushes

"Claudia. Forget it." Jamie sits up propping herself up on her elbows "Why are you putting so much thought into this all of a sudden?"

"It's not all of a sudden, I have been lately."

"More than usual?"

"Yes more than usual." Claudia replies exasperated

"Are you all right? I mean did something happen at school today?" Jamie asks knowingly

"We were having this discussion today in English. We had gotten way off topic I guess but we were talking about broken families."

"So what did you talk about me?"

"No, it just got me thinking. I mean Mrs. Flynn kept talking about how if someone is in trouble the ethical thing to do is to help them. You know? A kid would look away or even a teenager, but we're supposed to be adults now."

"Claud, we are teenagers, and why the crusade now after all these years?"

"What's going to happen when your mom comes home? What's your dad going to do?"

"I'm hungry, can we get something to eat?" Jamie jumps up and leaves Claudia's room.

Claudia sighs but follows Jamie downstairs anyway and walks into the kitchen.

"Hey Claudia." Bailey says when she walks into the kitchen.

"Hey Bailey." Claudia sits down.

"Claudia you hungry?" Jamie asks making a sandwich

"So Jame, you never answered my question." Claudia says casually knowing she's putting Jamie on the spot.

Jamie looks away for a moment "I don't know." She looks back at Claudia "All right?"

"You don't know what?" Bailey asks

"Nothing." Jamie replies uncomfortable.

Bailey glances between the two girls "Right." He gets up to get a drink.

Claudia leans over and whispers to Jamie "You've talked to her haven't you? Or someone has."

"No." Jamie answers starting to look frustrated

"So what is it then? Don't lie to me."

"Claud, please just stop pushing the subject."

"Jamie, I'm your best friend you can tell me anything."

"My mom's dead." Jamie hisses back so Bailey wont hear.

"What?!" Claudia exclaims so loudly that Bailey turns around startled

"I've got to go." Jamie stands up. "Call me later Claudia." Jamie goes to leave.

"Jamie, I'll drive you if you want." Bailey offers "I'm going to pick up Sarah now anyway."

"No, it's all right." Jamie replies

"Jame, when? How?" Claudia asks confused

"Call me later." Jamie repeats herself.

"Come on." Bailey grabs his keys and heads for the door. "I'll drive you" He tells her firmly. Jamie sighs and follows him to his car.

"Hey Claud." Charlie walks into the kitchen

"Hey." Claudia replies distantly

"You all right?"

"Can I ask you something?" Claudia looks over at him.

"Sure." Charlie takes a seat.

"All right, so today in school I was thinking. I'm going to be considered an adult soon, maybe real soon so I should be taking more adult actions right?"

"Right." Charlie agrees

"So, when something isn't right and you know it, but because of circumstance you can't really do anything about it without completely opposing someone's wishes what do you do?"

"Is something wrong?" Charlie asks

"No, I'm fine but-"

"Is it one of your friends? Jamie?" Charlie interrupts

"No. I just want to know when don't you listen to someone?"

"You said you're becoming an adult right?"

"Yea…"

"So when you're an adult and because I don't have a clue to what is actually going on, when you're an adult you know when to break the rules and do what's right even if it hurts. Like with Bailey and drinking and now look at him." Charlie points out "Did that help any?"

"I guess, but I just don't really know where I stand it in. Cause I think I know the adult thing to do, but I feel like such a kid when I'm trying to help."

"Well without you telling me anymore, that's all the advice I can give you. Unless there's something else."

"No." Claudia replies after a moment "Thanks though."

"Yea well the offer still stands" Charlie replies getting up.

*****************

"You're quiet today" Bailey glances over at Jamie

"Don't go to my house." Jamie says suddenly

"Why not?" Bailey asks

"I'm not going home" Jamie answers

"We'll go pick up Sarah first." Bailey changes direction. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing."

"Hear from your mom lately?"

"No."

"Think you will soon? How long has it been?"

"I wont be hearing from her for a long time."

"That kind of sucks" Bailey looks at her.

"I guess, but I'm used to her not being around. It's probably for the best."

"Are you and Claudia fighting? Back at the house that was kind of cold…."

"We're not fighting" Jamie replies as Bailey pull over to the curb, Jamie gets out and gets into the back and Sarah climbs in up front.

"You didn't have to go in the back" Sarah tells Jamie, Jamie shrugs in response. Sarah looks at Bailey.

"I have no idea, but she's not going home and she's not fighting with Claudia, that's all I know." Bailey tells Sarah as he pulls away from the curb.

"Want to come back to the apartment with us for a while?" Sarah offers

"Sure." Jamie replies looking out the window and they drive the rest of the way in silence.

********************

"Hello?" Bailey answers the phone after he opens the door to the apartment.

"Bay? What time did you drop off Jamie?" Claudia asks

"I didn't she's here. Want to talk to her?" Bailey hands the phone to Jamie

"Hey Claudia."

"Why didn't you go home?" Claudia asks immediately

"I didn't feel like it" Jamie replies watching Sarah put down her things.

"So do you want to tell me what happened?"

"Not particularly"

"Were you even planning on telling me?"

"Of course I was, not today. Claud it happened this morning I got the call right before I was supposed to go to school. That wasn't how I was expecting to start my morning. Then I had to track down my brother and by the time I found John and told him, I didn't feel like talking about it anymore." Jamie explains

"You didn't tell your dad did you?" Claudia asks surprised

"No. I didn't tell my dad."

"Are you going to?"

"I don't know if I want to tell him, maybe I'll call him tonight and not come home." Jamie laughs trying to lighten the situation.

"And go where?" Claudia asks

"I don't know, I'll go stay wherever John is staying tonight." Jamie sits down on the couch. "I don't care."

"Don't do that, you can come here."

"No, cause that would be obvious and I don't want that."

"It's not going to just go away."

"Yea I know, it'll be all over the papers tomorrow in Nevada." Jamie replies "I got to go Claud, I'll talk to you later all right?"

"Yea, bye." Claudia says slightly confused and hangs up.

"What was that about?" Sarah asks sitting next to Jamie.

"Nothing."

"Want to stay here tonight?" Sarah asks "I don't want you staying wherever John is staying to be honest with you."

"Thanks, I don't really want to stay with John either." Jamie laughs

"Is everything ok?"

"For now"

"What does that mean?"

"I'm not exactly sure." Jamie replies thoughtfully.

"Well if you want to talk you know where to find me." Sarah tells her.

"Thanks Sarah." Jamie leans her head back thinking.

"I'll call you when dinner is ready." Sarah says getting up.

Later that night Claudia wakes up when her beeper goes off, she recognizes Jamie's cell and calls her back.

"Hey what's up?" Claudia asks sleepily

"Can you meet me outside your house." Jamie asks

"Where are you?" Claudia questions throwing off her covers

"Outside your house." Jamie replies quietly "I stayed at Bailey's, I walked over here cause I couldn't sleep, sorry it's so late."

"It's all right, I'll be right down" Claudia replies pulling on a sweatshirt. She goes out the back door. "Hey, come inside."

"Thanks." Jamie comes in.

"Want to talk?"

"My mom is dead Claud, what's there to talk about?" Jamie asks

"Do you know how?"

"From what I heard, drunk driving." Jamie answers "I'm not sure if I believe it though. I don't even know why I care. My mom wasn't even a part of my life."

"Yea but she was your mother." Claudia reminds her

"You managed to grow up fine with just your brothers and sister raising you, why am I so screwed up? My family is all in tact so to speak."

"I'm not so sure lately if I have grown up, I never take responsibility for myself. I don't really know if I know who I am." Claudia says thoughtfully

"You're Claudia Salinger, smart, pretty, a great violinist, popular, my best friend what else is there?"

"I feel caught in the middle, I'm not a kid but I'm not an adult and I don't know how to take responsibility and initiative. I need to start acting like an adult but I don't know how." Claudia replies

"Did I bring this on?" Jamie asks

"Sort of, I want to help you Jame, and it would be the adult thing to do."

"Forget about the adult thing to do for a second, you've never said anything all this time, don't bother now. I'm too close to being out." Jamie reasons

Claudia doesn't reply, she sits back pondering to herself.

To be continued, all right it's a start so please, please, please tell me what you think thank you.